• Buffy: Season 10 #3



    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: May 21, 2014

    Xander and Dawn have gone to Dracula to see if he knows anything about these new strains of vampires that can shape-shift even in broad daylight. Xander, having once been under the power of Dracula as his manservant, is struggling with his own identity as well as his strained, crumbling relationship with Buffy’s sister.

    [SPOILERS BELOW - BEWARE!]




    But Dracula seems to be more bark than bite anymore and that comes into play when they all return to California, to investigate this new breed of vampire first-hand. After a brief skirmish with them, he’s also confused. They return to Xander’s apartment and Giles questions Dracula about how he got his powers. He arrogantly claims he simply willed himself to be the lord of all vampires. After some discussion they figure out that, under this “new magic,” these new vampires simply wanted to be stronger and, using the original Dracula here as the base, extrapolated from there and become something more. He further suggests that this may just be a temporary spell and recommends grabbing one of these new vampires and bringing it back for interrogation.




    So Buffy and Willow set out to capture one of these new creatures. Along the way, though, they talk about the relationship troubles they have, being in the roles they find themselves and that life not being very conducive to healthy romance. Back at Xander’s place, he, Dawn and Giles try to play a videogame that the now-young Giles is drawn to. Dracula arises from his slumber with more theories, namely that perhaps new laws of magic can be written into that ancient tome, Vampyr, as well. But Giles is having none of that, knowing that trying to rewrite the rules of magic leads inevitably to disaster.




    As Giles is prepping a spell to contain Dracula and keep him away from that book, it’s Xander who knocks Giles unconscious and hands the tome to his master. It appears he’s back under the total sway of Dracula. A fight ensues with Spike waking up as well, then getting grabbed by Xander and stabbed through the chest. Dawn tries to fight, too, as Xander falters slightly in his loyalty but can’t even be stopped from leaving with Dracula when Dawn tells him she loves him. He knows and admits to her that she doesn’t and he then flies away, clinging to his master. That’s when Buffy and Willow reappear, with a captive new vampire in tow, but now very confused...

    This issue is Part Three of the New Rules storyline and, as Xander is central to it, series’ writer Christos Gage is joined by actor Nicholas Brendon. It’s playful and fully in character and a great development to move all the storylines ahead quite nicely. Rebekah Isaacs’ artwork continues to be one of the most impressive aspects of this series, too, also keeping it playful but really focusing well on articulating all of the characters.